Quick Tips for Parents and Caregivers:

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        #1

        Even before teeth come in, you can take care of your child's mouth by cleaning his gums with a washcloth. Take your child for his first dental visit within six months of his first tooth, or by his first birthday.

        #2

        Help your preschooler brush her teeth at least twice a day (after breakfast and before bed) to keep them healthy and strong.

        #3

        Young children should brush their teeth for about 2 minutes. While brushing your child's teeth together, try playing some music or singing the ABC song four times to help him keep track of time.

        #4

        Look for children's toothbrushes with small heads and soft (or extra-soft) bristles. Help your child get excited about brushing by letting her choose the color.

        #5

        A little toothpaste goes a long way! Help children ages 2–5 add a pea-size amount to their toothbrushes. For children under 2, just a smear will do.

        #6

        Teeth love crunchy fruits and vegetables! With your child, try some tooth-friendly foods, such as apples, pears, carrots, or celery. What does each food sound like when you take a bite?

        #7

        Drinking water helps keep bodies healthy and strong. Water can also help wash food away from teeth if there isn't time to brush after a snack.

        #8

        It takes a team to keep teeth healthy. Visit your dental office twice a year and stay in touch with your child's primary-care physician and nurse.

        #9

        Talk with your child about the grown-ups who can help him take care of his teeth: the doctor, nurse, dentist, hygienist…and you!

        #10

        If it's hard to visit a dental office because of cost or distance, check online or ask your local health department about mobile dental clinics or low-cost services near you.